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Strategic testing approaches for targeted disease monitoring can be used to inform pandemic decision-making

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • J.D. Nichols
  • T.L. Bogich
  • E. Howerton
  • O.N. Bjørnstad
  • R.K. Borchering
  • M. Ferrari
  • M. Haran
  • C. Jewell
  • K.M. Pepin
  • W.J.M. Probert
  • J.R.C. Pulliam
  • M.C. Runge
  • M. Tildesley
  • C. Viboud
  • K. Shea
Article numbere3001307
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Plos Biology
Issue number6
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


More than 1.6 million Servere Acute Respiratory Syndrome Cronovirus 2(SARS-COV-2)tests were administered daily in the United States at the peak of the epidemic, with a significant focus on individual treatment. Here, we show that objective-driven, strategic sampling designs and analyses can maximize information gain at the population level, which is necessary to increase situational awareness and predict, prepare for, and respond to a pandemic, while also continuing to inform individual treatment. By focusing on specific objectives such as individual treatment or disease prediction and control (e.g., via the collection of population- level statistics to inform lockdown measures or vaccine rollout) and drawing from the literature on capture-recapture methods to deal with nonrandom sampling and testing errors, we illustrate how public health objectives can be achieved even with limited test availability when testing programs are designed a priori to meet those objectives. © 2021 Public Library of Science. All rights reserved.